Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress)
Hino Nacional Brasileiro
|Capital||Rio de Janeiro|
|Head of State||Artur da Silva Bernardes|
|Head of Government||Fernando de Melo Viana|
- Independence from Portugal
|Declared||September 7 1822|
|Recognized||August 29 1825|
|Republic||November 15 1889|
|Area||8 514 877 km²|
|Population||About 40 millions|
Brazil is the largest country in South America. It borders the Caribbean Federation, Dutch Guiana and Venezuela to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, La Plata to the south, Bolivia to the southwest, Peru to the west and Colombia to the northwest.
After the abolition of slavery in 1888, the ideals of Republicanism gained much support from across all regions in the Brazilian Empire. This, combined with decreasing support to the House of Orleans and Braganza, culminated in the military-supported declaration of the Republic of Brazil, in 1889. The 1891 constitution was based on the US constitution, granting considerable autonomy to the provinces and, under the first elected presidents, the domestic situation stabilized.
However, Brazil soon fell into serious economic trouble, lurching from crisis to crisis. In an effort to alleviate these troubles, Brazil's foreign minister, José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior, the last Baron of Rio Branco, oversaw the extension of the Brazilian territory through a series of treaties with Britain, France, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay, which saw the country's territory grow by over 250.000 square miles.
The flourishing of Brazil's export trades with Europe after the Weltkrieg contributed greatly to the wealth of the nation, decreasing the chances of any major economical crisis across the late-1910s and 1920s. Growing industries and a high influx of immigrants led to a strong industrial proletariat, and with these demographic changes so did urban Brazilian society too. The politics of Brazil, however, are still based on the Café com Leite doctrine of dominance of the federal government by the landed oligarchies of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. The presidency of Arthur Bernardes and his vice-president Estácio Coimbra (1922-1926) saw the consolidation of the labour movement around the Brazilian Workers' Confederation (Confederação Brasileira dos Trabalhadores), which sponsored heavy strikes in the southern states.
Arthur Bernardes was succeded in the presidency by Washington Luís and Fernando de Melo Viana (1926-1930), whose term was marked by greater unsatisfaction against the federal government by the elites of the other states - and also by the industrialists of São Paulo -, agrarian revolts in the Northeast, plus nationalist and populist thoughts appearing among the middle classes and the armed forces. The status-quo was mantained across the subsequent terms of Júlio Prestes and Vital Soares (1930-1934, after nearly surviving a coup attempt by the military just after his election) and Arthur Bernardes' second term, now with his new vice-president Fernando de Melo Viana.
Since 1933, however, trade with Europe and North America started to decline and many fear that a global economic crisis could be approaching. A blow to the Brazilian economy already came in 1934, when the country decided to intervene on Bolivia's side in the Great South American War. Despite a successful initial advance towards the La Plata river, Brazil was unable to withstand the pressure when Argentinean forces counterattacked in 1935, and the Brazilian troops were forced on a great retreat. With Argentinean forces poised to take Curitiba and her own armed forces in disarray, Brazil sued for peace.
Since this humiliating defeat, the fragile Brazilian First Republic has been on the brink of its end, as dissent against the federal government becomes more and more apparent, old rivalries between different sectors of society are awaken and extremist thoughts dominate the political speeches of both left and right-wing. Emergency elections have been called for August, and some say that only a miracle can save democracy in Brazil.
President: Artur da Silva Bernardes
Vice-President: Fernando de Melo Viana
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Otavio Mangabeira
Minister of Industry: Washington Luis Pereira de Souza
Minister of Justice: Riccardo Cassiano
Head of the Council of National Defence: Costa Neto
Minister of War: Henrique Teixeira Lott
Marshal of the Army: Goes Monteiro
Minister of the Navy: Jorge Martins
Chief of the Air Forces: Mourão Filho
Since Brazil's defeat against Argentina and the subsequent formation of the Union of La Plata, Arthur Bernardes' government has been rocked by crisis time and time again and by pressures from dissenting political factions. Emergency elections have been called for August, with the main political forces in the country participating.
The Aliança Nacional Libertadora (ANL, National Liberation Alliance) is a broad-front of left-wing parties and organizations, composed of three main factions. The Confederação Brasileira dos Trabalhadores (Brazilian Workers' Confederation) is their main force, an umbrella group for several major syndicates and trade unions, exposing a doctrine based on mainstream, English-inspired Syndicalism. The second great force of the ANL is the Partido Socialista Revolucionário (PSR, Socialist Revolutionary Party), the party of choice of the left-leaning petite-bourgeoisie, Marxist intellectuals and Orthodox Socialists. Their third main group is the Bloco Operário e Camponês (BOC, Workers' and Peasants' Bloc), of anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist tendency, claiming to represent the interests of industrial labourers, but also the only major political force to include Brazil's agricultural workforce on their programmes.
A minor force within the ANL is the rump Partido Comunista Brasileiro (PCB, Brazilian Communist Party), sometimes considered the last of the world's great communist parties. Founded in 1922 and much present on the very early days of the labour movement, the PCB is now a shadow of its former self, as a great part of its leaders and members have moved to other movements and parties. The strict adherence to the old Soviet Bolshevist doctrine by the party inner circle is seen by most as the main reason for its failure. The party is expected to formally announce its dissolution in early 1936, all the while their old guard is keeping an eye on the developments of the Totalist ideas in Britain.
In the next elections, the ANL will present the PSR's Edgard Leuenroth as their candidate to the presidency.
The Liberal-Democratas (Liberal-Democrats) is an ad-hoc coalition of several major and minor centre-left and liberal political parties, under the leadership of former president Júlio Prestes and his Partido Republicano Paulista (São Paulo Republican Party). The coalition has great support from the urban middle classes of the Southern and Southeastern states, as they present themselves as a politically-experienced and moderate alternative to the present situation.
Further to the right, we have the Republicanos (Republicans), an union of conservative parties, joining landowners and industrial capitalists with the right-wing forces of the military under the leadership of populist Getúlio Vargas. They have their greatest voting base on Vargas' home state of Rio Grande do Sul, and also on the conservative Northern and Northeastern states.
The fourth main coalition is the authoritarian Ação Integralista Brasileira (AIB, Brazilian Integralist Action), the nationalist and populist party under Plínio Salgado, expressing their extremist ideology of Integralism.
The role of the military in Brazilian politics must also not be disconsidered. Apart from the usual Generals who will, from time to time, attempt to meddle in politics, the Tenentes, the nonpartisan but reformist and politically-influenced junior officers of the Army and Navy, can - and will - be mobilized by any side of the political spectrum.
Brazil has a medium-sized professional army for defence purposes, consisting in three infantry division (one with an artillery brigade), one cavarly division and a couple of badly-trained militias. After the defeat in the Great South American War in 1935, a rebuilding of the Brazilian Army (Exército Brasileiro) is expected.
The Marinha do Brasil consists of two outdated battleships, two outdated light cruisers and six transport flotilla. The Força Aérea Brasileira comprise only a squadron of interceptors.